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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Youngbloods - Rock Festival (1970 us, exceptional blend of psych folk blues jazz rock)

Working the early ‘60s folk circuit, Jessie Colin Young would play sets with Jerry Corbitt whenever he was in Corbitt’s homebase of Cambridge, MA. Liking how their voices sounded together, they began touring as a duo, taking the name “The Youngbloods” from a title of Young’s second solo LP, Youngblood. Corbitt introduced Young to multi-instrumentalist Lowell “Banana” Levinger who joined the duo. Levinger, in turn, recruited drummer Joe Bauer for the band and the Youngbloods full line-up was complete. Their combination of folk, rock and jug band elements drew comparisons to the Lovin’ Spoonful and indeed, the two bands played many of the same venues.

After establishing a successful residency at Café Au Go Go in NYC, the band was signed to RCA and recorded their self-titled debut LP, released in 1967. The album contained a mid-charting single, “Grizzly Bear,” as well as what would become their signature song, “Get Together.” Written by Dino Valente under the pen name Chet Powers, the song made it up to #62 before stalling on the charts. The album also contained well-chosen blues covers as well as original songs written by Young.

Two years after its release, “Get Together” was used in a public service campaign, sparking renewed interest. This interest translated into airplay and this time, the song climbed all the way to #2. During this period, Corbitt left the band to pursue a solo career and the remaining members carried on as a trio. Relocating to Marin County, California, the band cultivated a loyal following through their dynamic live shows, featuring inspired instrumental interplay. They carried on until 1972, leaving a rich catalog in their wake. 

Rock Festival documents the group's work around and about the San Francisco Bay area in the spring and summer of 1970, recorded in various places such as the Family Dog Great Highway San Francisco March 29 1970, Provo park Berkeley May 19th 1970, University of Santa Clara  April 18 1970, Euphoria San Rafael July 19 1970, Pacific High San Francisco July 21  1970, Barn Marshall April 16 1970.  The album peaked at #80 on Billboard 200.

1. It's A Lovely Day (Jesse Colin Young) - 2:37
2. Faster All The TIme (Lowell Levinger) - 4:49
3. Prelude (Joe Bauer, Lowell Levinger, Jesse Colin Young) - 1:01
4. On Beautiful Lake Spenard (Lowell Levinger) - 4:52
5. Josiane (Jesse Colin Young) - 6:34
6. Sea Cow Boogie (Joe Bauer, Lowell Levinger, Jesse Colin Young) - 0:25
7. Fiddler A Dram (Traditional arr. by Lowell Levinger) - 5:13
8. Misty Roses (Tim Hardin) - 4:13
9. Interlude (Lowell Levinger) - 2:14
10.Peepin' 'N' Hidin' (Baby, What You Want Me To Do) (Jimmy Reed) - 5:03
11.Ice Bag (Joe Bauer, Lowell Levinger, Jesse Colin Young) - 2:18

The Youngbloods
*Joe Bauer - Drums
*Jesse Colin Young - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
*Lowell Levinger "Banana" - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
*Rick Anderson - Harmonica

1967/69  The Youngbloods / Earth Music / Elephant Mountain (2014 japan blu spec issues)
1969  Elephant Mountain (Sundazed expanded and 2014 japan blu spec issue)
1971  Beautiful! Live In San Francisco (Sundazed edition)
1972  High On A Ridge Top (Sundazed remaster)

Jesse Colin Young releases
1972  Together
1973  Song For Juli (2009 remaster)
1974  Light Shine
1976  On The Road (Japan remaster)

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